SEBRING — The license to operate Magnolia Retirement Home has not been renewed by the Agency for Health Care Administration. The owners, Priscilla and Manuel Domisiw, and their son, Dennis, who acts as the administrator, will not be allowed to take new residents into the assisted living facility. Magnolia Retirement Home at 149 Magnolia Ave. has been home to 32 or so residents, depending on the time the census was taken. The facility has 57 beds but not all of them are used because the rooms were too damaged to Hurricane Irma, as previously reported.

Because of past repeated deficiencies in AHCA and Florida Department of Health of Highlands County inspection reports, the facility’s license was not automatically renewed when it expired several months ago on Sept. 26, 2018. Instead, the license status was flagged by AHCA and the company was put on an “in review” status.

On Nov. 24, 2018 the status of the license was “in litigation” with AHCA. AHCA explains what litigation is on its website: “The Agency has initiated action to deny or revoke a license or initial application for a license.”

Despite deficiencies dating back for years of everything from insect infestation, mold, a shortage of employees to residents ratio, food preparation and storage among others, Dennis Domisiw was confident he would get his license reinstated when he spoke to the Highlands News-Sun at that time.

On Thursday, the Highlands News-Sun asked Domisiw about his facility closing.

“As far as that’s concerned, we haven’t closed yet,” the administrator said. “You know, we are still in the legal process. As far as being able to say anything more, I don’t think I can say anymore so. What I can say is we haven’t closed and so, yeah. We have to see where the legal process goes.”

When Domisiw was informed that AHCA has the facility’s license status listed on its website as closed, he reiterated his statement.

“Again, we are in a legal process, so I’m not going to say anymore than that. We are not closed. if you are asking me right now, we are not closed as of right now.”

According to Patrick Manderfield, AHCA deputy communications director, “The final order made the effective date of closure April 29. However, litigation is still ongoing.”

On March 13, the Presiding Officer’s Recommended Order was offered in the case of State of Florida Agency for the Health Care Administration vs. Magnolia Retirement Home and the recommendations were adopted. The application renewal is “hereby denied” and clearly stated in the final order.

“In order to ensure the health, safety and welfare of Magnolia’s clients, the license expiration date is extended for 30 days for the sole purpose of allowing the safe and orderly discharge of clients,” AHCA’s document said.

In addition, the home was fined $13,500 for six cases that were consolidated from administrative violations, “numerous Class II and Class III and multiple criminal background screening violations” and more, the AHCA document showed.

The documents show the Domisiws asked for an informal hearing in which the owners can show “mitigating circumstances” as to why they have deficiencies. Manuel Domisiw said most of the deficiencies occurred after Hurricane Irma from the damaged roof. He said the problems compounded because he got a quote for the roof of nearly $100,000. but he told AHCA he got a quote of $13,760 on June 27, 2018. The roof was completed on Sept. 27, “more than one year after the roof was damaged,” AHCA noted.

AHCA said in the “Conclusions of the Law” portion of the document, that Domisiw had no wind damage insurance on the building. AHCA reported not having that type of insurance in an area with hurricanes was a risk for economic benefit.

AHCA documented that although the property continued to decline, the Domisiws were still collecting full rents from the residents.

The report indicates that Magnolia is to ensure all records and refunds go with the residents.

The doors have not shut on Magnolia yet; residents are looking for new homes. The facility’s last inspection before they were sent to review, which was passed, was in October 2018. Code Enforcement Officer Joe Romanik of Sebring said the Domisiws were doing much better with their code enforcement issues.

“They brought most of the problems into compliance,” Romanik said Thursday. “He just had some roof work to do.”

According to Sebring Code Enforcement, Priscilla and Manuel Domisiw have four active cases dating back to 2013 that are in arrears. Three of the cases accrue $300 per day. As of Thursday, the total amount accrued is $188,002.39.

In past interviews, an AHCA spokesperson said different agencies such as Department of Children and Families and others help to place residents in a situation like this. AHCA did not immediately respond when asked who is helping the residents find new homes, where they will be placed and how much it will cost.

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